Itis for Inflammation – Bromelain

We are pleased to introduce the addition of a new product, itis-for inflammation.  Comprised of bromelain, boswelia serrata, cats claw, devils claw, feverfew tanacetum, tumeric (curcumin), and tart cherry fruit, itis is formulated to relieve the inflammation specific to Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, arthritis, and inflammatory conditions of the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis (MS).  Over the next few weeks, we will take a closer look at each of these ingredients in turn, beginning with bromelain.

Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that inhibits the migration of white blood cells to sites of injury or infection, and removes the chemical receptor necessary for inflammation to occur.  In a study of 77 individuals with knee pain, daily doses of 200-400mg effectively reduced pain and increased reported perceptions of well-being.  In addition, Bromelain acts as an immunomodulator against tumor cells, via the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines–chemical signalers–such as tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-alpha) and interleukin II.

In the next post, we will examine boswellia serrata’s ability to reduce painful swelling and increase the range of motion in patients with inflammatory conditions.

What is Ozone Therapy? Q & A

In Principles and Applications of Ozone Therapy (2011), Dr. Frank Shallenberger tells of his introduction to ozone therapy via the work of his predecessor, Dr. Charles Farr. In the 1980s, Dr. Farr began treating patients with Auto Immune Disease Syndrome (AIDS)—caused by the accumulation of molecules called oxidants—by injecting hydrogen peroxide, a powerful oxidant, directly into their veins. Dr. Farr’s success at alleviating symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, joint and muscle pain, and muscle weakness suggested that “the reason people get sick and diseased as they get older might have something to do with how they utilize and process oxygen” (Shallenberger, 2011).

The following Q & A is intended provide an introduction to ozone, and the various ozone therapies our clinic provides:

Q: What is ozone?

A: Consisting of three oxygen (O2) atoms that share a common electron, ozone (O3) is a naturally occurring molecule—called an oxidant—in the earth’s atmosphere.

Q: What is ozone therapy?

A: Working in a manner similar to vaccines that promote the production of viral antibodies, ozone therapy stimulates the formation of oxidants in the blood, essentially training the body to utilize them efficiently.

Q: How is ozone administered?

A: There are three administration techniques for ozone therapy. The first, called an Ozone Sauna, involves the patient entering a hyperbaric chamber into which heated ozone is pumped. The heat causes the patient to perspire, while the ozone promotes the formation of oxidants in the blood that the body must then dispose of. When someone says they are “sweating it out,” this is the technique to which they are referring.

The second option, called minor-Auto-Hemo-therapy (mAH), involves the blood being drawn out of the body, mixed with ozone, and then injected directly into the treatment site, while the third option administers blood-ozone intravenously, and is referred to as Major-Auto-Hemo-therapy (MAH).

Q: What conditions can ozone therapy treat?

A: Here at Restorative Health Clinic, we offer ozone therapy for patients with Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and the chronic infections typically related to such illnesses. Essentially, any condition that impairs the body’s natural immunity can be treated with ozone, as it stimulates auto-immune defense mechanisms, necessary for tissue and cellular repair.

Q: How do I know if ozone therapy is right for me?

A: Consult your physician regarding the potential benefits and appropriate administration method for your particular condition. Dr. Vosloo and Dr. Hatlestad look forward to providing their guidance to anyone looking to improve their health and vitality.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 503.747.2021.

Grapes For Your Heart: It’s all about the glutathione.

Grapes For Your Heart: It’s all about the glutathione.

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Grapes are already renowned for their abundance of health enhancing polyphenals, vitamins & minerals. They are an antioxidant superfood, known to support the cardiovascular system and provide important nutrients for all tissues of the body. A recent study released by the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry has taken our understanding of grapes & heart failure prevention further: it’s all about the glutathione.

In patients with heart disease caused by chronic hypertension (high blood pressure), the glutathione enhancing effects of grapes help to reduce heart failure.

Glutathione is the most important antioxidant to your heart, and the most abundant. According to the study, glutathione deficiency is statistically linked to a greater occurrence of heart failure in both human & animals. The ability for grapes to reduce heart failure in patients with hypertension is now believed to be due to the increase in glutathione production. Grapes “turn on antioxidant defense pathways” that lead to higher blood levels of this vital antioxidant.

 

Grapes Aren’t the Only Way to Enhance Glutathione
Three amino acids are necessary for your body to produce glutathione: L-cysteine, L-glutamic acid & L-glycine. While glutamic acid and glycine are abundant in the body, cysteine is harder to find and is key in supporting glutathione production. Selenium, too, is necessary for activation of the antioxidant. Such nutrients can be supplemented or found naturally in food:

Example Sources of L-cysteine:
NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine)
Dairy products
Poultry & eggs
Onions & garlic

Example Sources of selenium:
Brazil nuts
Shellfish
Liver
Sunflower seeds

Glutathione supplementation is also available in the form of IV’s, subcutaneous injections and oral forms.


Glutathione Protects More Than Just Your Heart
Glutathione is in nearly every cell of your body. It plays an invaluable role in immune function, reduction of the oxidative effects related to everyday metabolic processes, cleansing the blood through neutralization of toxins for disposal in bile, heavy metal detoxification, DNA repair and more.

To best support your body’s glutathione protection and overall health, enjoy a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits (don’t forget your grapes!), nuts, seeds & lean meat. Speak with your healthcare provider to assess your need for further glutathione support.

 

Dr. Kaley Bourgeois

 

 

Sources:
University of Michigan Health System (2013, May 2). Mechanism for how grapes reduce heart failure associated with hypertension identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 2, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2013/05/130502120259.htm

Chelation and nutrients “softly” proven to help heart disease a LOT

Below is an excellent excerpt from Medpage Today – chelation that removes undesirable elements like calcium, lead, mercury etc from the heart and blood vessels [thus allowing it to have better autonomous vasodilatory control, less inflammation] in conjunction with nutrients [vitamins, minerals] to support biochemistry, decreases risk for heart attack in patients who have had a heart attack in the past. Important concepts from this paper: Giving the appropriate nutrients through IV, plusRemoving substances that inhibits normal function of the Nitric oxide mediated [NOS] vasodilatory system and normal blood vessel function yielded significantly better outcomes than the control group in patients with heart disease. This is concurrent with our observations and practice. When done correctly and conservatively, chelation with focused nutrients for the cardiovascular and energy production system is a very appropriate treatment, with consistent patient satisfaction feedback.

ACC: Is Chelation Plus Vitamins a Winning Combo?

By Kristina Fiore, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Published: March 10, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO — Vitamins alone won’t improve outcomes for patients who’ve had a heart attack, but they do appear to have additive benefits when given in conjunction with chelation therapy, researchers reported here.

In further analyses of the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT), MI patients who had both high-dose vitamins and chelation therapy were significantly less likely to reach a combined cardiovascular endpoint over 5 years than those who had placebo in both instances, Gervasio Lamas, MD, of Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Fla., reported during a late-breaking clinical trials session at the American College of Cardiology meeting here.

“The message here, I think, is a cautious one,” Lamas said. “We’ve moved something that has been an alternative medicine into perhaps the realm of scientific inquiry, and found some unexpected results that merit further research.”

But he warned that he doesn’t think the “results of any single trial are enough to carry this novel hypothesis into daily use for patients who’ve had acute MI.”

However, Magnus Ohman, MD, of Duke University Medical Center, noted that the trial was well-designed and had a clear outcome: “We have a 2-by-2 factorial design, we have a significant reduction with vitamins and chelation versus placebo-placebo, yet your conclusion is, ‘maybe not.'”

“So I’m wondering,” he continued, “if we do a trial and we have an endpoint that is unusual and is a statistically significant finding, why are you holding back?”

Ohman told MedPage Today he wouldn’t necessarily recommend chelation therapy to his patients at Duke University, but if they told him they were going to try it, he wouldn’t discourage them.

When it was presented at the American Heart Association meeting last fall, the TACT trial showed that chelation therapy reduced a composite cardiovascular endpoint in patients who’ve had an MI — a finding that was surprising to all and unsettling to many cardiologists, who had been dismissive of chelation.

But most chelation practitioners will use concurrent high doses of anti-oxidant vitamins and minerals in conjunction with chelation. To rule out this potential confounding, the trial was conducted in a 2-by-2 factorial fashion, in which once patients were randomized to either the therapy or placebo, they were also randomized to either vitamins (3 high-dose capsules per day) or placebo.

The TACT Vitamin trial enrolled the full 1,708 patients and assessed the same primary composite endpoint of time to first occurrence of either death, MI, stroke, coronary revascularization, or hospitalization for angina.

Overall, Lamas and colleagues found no difference between those on vitamins or those on placebo in terms of the primary endpoint (37% in placebo group versus 34% in high-dose vitamin group), and there were no significant differences in any individual components of the primary endpoint.

But when looking at all four groups, they found that those who had chelation and vitamins had a significantly reduced risk of the primary endpoint compared with those who had placebo in both instances (HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.95, P=0.016).

Lamas said the mechanisms by which a combination of high-dose vitamins and chelation therapy might benefit these patients are unclear, but are deserving of further research.

During the session, he equated the results to those from a phase I or II randomized controlled trial, and that the idea of chelation therapy and vitamins “has now become, I think based on TACT, a novel hypothesis.”

“It might give us a little window into a mechanism that we have not previously thought of,” Lamas said, cautioning, however, that “we are far from carrying this novel hypothesis and applying it to patients.”

The study was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

The researchers reported relationships with Janssen, Medtronic, Eli Lilly, Gilead, and AstraZeneca.

 

Primary source: American College of Cardiology
Source reference:
Lamas GA, et al “Randomized comparison of high-dose oral vitamins versus placebo in the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT)” ACC 2013.

Polycystic Ovarian What? 
Finally, a New Name on the Way

Polycystic Ovarian What? 
Finally, a New Name on the Way

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I released a long-held sigh of relief today when I came across an announcement from the National Institutes of Health, declaring their decision to rename polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). A minor thing to get worked up over? I think not. PCOS is a leading cause of infertility in young women, and a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. Despite the name, PCOS often presents without any ovarian cysts. Why is this a concern? A misleading name will do exactly that: mislead.

As a naturopathic physician specializing in women’s health and endocrine disorders, I’ve had the opportunity to see how prevalent PCOS is, and how frequently it goes undiagnosed. Without ovarian pain, or confirmed ovarian cysts, a focused diagnostic work up for the hormonal disorder is often overlooked. Sometimes this is an oversight by the healthcare practitioner, but in many cases, it is related to patients not knowing when to seek care. Of the women I have diagnosed with PCOS, most have responded to my first mention of its name with something along the lines of “PCOS? Not me, I don’t have any cysts.” They’re half right.

What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a complex metabolic and hormonal disorder that involves both hyperandrogenism (elevated levels of androgen hormones, such as testosterone) and insulin resistance. Hormone and blood sugar imbalances effect the entire body, causing a wide variety of symptoms:

Irregular menstrual cycle, or complete loss of cycle
Infertility (Unable to conceive after 12+ months)
Excess hair growth on the face, back and chest
Thinning hair (scalp)
Oily skin
Weight gain, especially around the trunk
Acne
Ovarian cysts
Depression and anxiety

As you can see above, ovarian cysts are a very small piece of a very large puzzle. Their absence does not rule out a diagnosis of PCOS, nor does their presence guarantee one. In fact, single and even multiple ovarian cysts can exist women without any history of the condition.

With so many young women effected and at increased risk for life-altering diseases, early diagnosis and treatment of PCOS is invaluable. If you have irregular cycles in combination with any of the symptoms listed above, please do not hesitate to speak with your healthcare provider.

Are there natural treatment options?
There are many natural treatment options available to help balance your hormones, address insulin resistance and improve metabolic function. For my patients, I use a combination of dietary counseling, weight loss plans, bio-identical hormones, nutritional supplements and botanicals. Subclinical hypothyroidism is also present as well, and treatment with natural supplements or thyroid hormone replacement leads to significant improvement. Many women respond beautifully to these interventions, allowing them to avoid treatment through surgery, diabetes medications, birth control pills or anti-androgen medications.

Diet: Insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar are highly responsive to dietary modifications.
Weight Loss: Specific dietary changes, metabolic support and HCG Diet when appropriate.
Bio-Identical Hormones: Bio-identical progesterone in combination with aggressive treatment of insulin resistance (high insulin stimulates increased androgen production).
Nutritional Supplements: Specific to hormone metabolism, blood sugar balance and endocrine system support.
Botanicals: Specific to estrogen, testosterone and progesterone balance, as well as blood sugar metabolism.

 

Dr. Kaley Bourgeois

 

Reference:
“Panel recommends changing name of common disorder in women.” NIH News. National Institutes of Health, 23 Jan 2013. Web. 25 Jan 2013. <http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jan2013/od-23.htm>.

In Defense of Coffee

In Defense of Coffee

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A beloved beverage throughout the USA and the world at large, coffee is often blamed for various health woes. While coffee is not appropriate for everyone, and there is such a thing as “too much” for even the most tolerant of sippers, research has shown a vast array of health benefits.

The abundant phytochemicals found in coffee beans are responsible for the various benefits, including potential prevention of diseases such as Diabetes mellitus type II, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer. Of course, we cannot overlook the well-loved stimulant effect of coffee that reliably provides us with increased stamina during exercise, and temporarily improves our cognitive function. Moreover, coffee simply makes mornings tastier.

Following is a brief overview discussing a few of the benefits to coffee consumption. These are presented in defense of coffee and as a thank you to its many active phytochemicals, including caffeine, caffeic acid, hydroxyhydroquine, chlorogenic acid, cafestol and kahweol.

 

Coffee consumption has been linked with a lower risk for Diabetes Type II.
The leading theory is that active compounds from the roasted coffee bean, including caffeine and caffeic acid, help to decrease the low-level inflammation associated with diabetes mellitus through anti-oxidant action. Coffee may not directly alter how your body metabolizes blood sugar throughout the day, but it does decrease your risk by lowering inflammation!

Coffee may increase total cholesterol, but it improves the LDL to HDL ratio.
A 2010 study found that regular coffee consumption increased total cholesterol, but much of this rise in blood lipids was due to an increase in the “good” cholesterol, HDL. The LDL (“bad” cholesterol) to HDL ratio actually improved. This suggests that coffee intake may offer cardiovascular protection in those with low to normal total cholesterol, and low HDL. Cafestol and kahweol, the coffee compounds believed to cause these effects, are highest in unfiltered coffee.

Six cups a days may prevent colorectal cancer.
A study published 2012 suggested that 4 daily cups of coffee can decrease your risk of developing colorectal cancer by 15%, while 6 daily cups may decrease your risk by as much as 40%. The study looked at nearly 500,000 middle-aged Americans, comparing their reported coffee intake to cancer outcomes over a 10 year period. Sadly, 3 cups or less per day did not significantly decrease risks of colorectal cancer.

Coffee can lift your mood, thanks to caffeine and possibly chlorogenic acid.
Caffeine is already established as a reliable, short term enhancer for cognitive function and mood. Recent findings suggest that chlorogenic acid, a component found in both regular and decaf coffee, may be involved in the mood-lifting effects of coffee. Caffeine or no caffeine, coffee may brighten your day.

 

Stamina, mood enhancement, and cholesterol aside, there are individuals who should limit or avoid coffee. This includes:
1. Individuals with hypertension, especially uncontrolled hypertension
2. Women who are pregnant, suffering from infertility, or symptoms of menopause
3. Individuals with high cholesterol
4. Children and adolescents
5. Individuals with known coffee allergy or food sensitivity

For those limiting their intake, most studies suggest health-altering side effects (both negative and positive) are not experienced with 3 or fewer cups of caffeinated coffee per day.

Dr. Kaley Bourgeois

 

 

References:
1. Butts, MS, et al. “Coffee and its consumption: benefits and risks.” Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 51.4 (2011): 363-73. Print.
2. Cropley, V. “Does coffee enriched with chlorogenic acids improve mood and cognition after acute administration in healthy elderly? A pilot study.” Psychopharmacology (Berl). 219.3 (2012): 737-49. Print.
3. Higdon, JF, et al. “Coffee and health: a review of recent human research.” Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 46.2 (2006): 101-23. Print.
4. Johnson-Kozlow, M, et al. “Coffee consumption and cognitive function among older adults.” Am J Epidemiol. 156.9 (2002): 842-50. Print.
5. Kempf, K, et al. “Effects of coffee consumption on subclinical inflammation and other risk factors for type 2 diabetes: a clinical trial.” Am J Clin Nutr. 91.4 (2009): 950-7. Print.
6. Sinha R, et al. Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and tea intakes and risk of colorectal cancer in a large prospective study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Published online June 13 2012